I have 15 minutes and a nagging guilt that I haven’t written anything of substance for too long.
However, the reason the guilt hasn’t killed me is because if I’m not in transit or gallavanting ’round Milano/Europe, I’m in a living room somewhere with wine and pasta and great people, talking about being in transit or gallavanting ’round Milano/Europe. You just can’t interrupt these things.
Per esempio — I’m about to scarf some leftovers, take an extremely vital nap & head out to see two potential English tutoring/babysitting employers. Let’s see what I can freewrite as I wait for last night’s pizza to come out of the oven.
(Tune in next time for anything resembling quality writing)
Today was our second day of official class — the past three weeks have been 3 hours a day, everyday, of just Italiano. Everyday, we were done by noon & drunk by 5 (I jest! …Un po’), and it gave us ample time to wander ’round the city, solidify our “tribes” (expect a series of pithy blogs about the importance of tribes in study abroad) and take lots and lots of naps.
I’m currently taking:
TV, Media & Communications in Milan
Cracking the Code: Art History, focusing on Da Vinci
Italian 200 (Intermediate)
The Art of Lombardy, Art History (In Italiano)
Italian Culture & Cuisine (In Italiano)
On top of that, I’m taking a Video Hip Hop class with a new Milanese friend, Euro-hopping on the weekends, and consuming a lot of carbs and vino inbetween.
If you can’t tell, my sole purpose with this semester is to live purely for pleasure. I made sure every class, every freaking action I take, is done just because I feel like it. I left “requirement” and “obligation” back at home. & When my parents and I visited The Last Supper in August, it surprised me how enthralled I was by the history of… everything, and art history sort of timidly introduced itself as possibly my new best friend.
My advisors warned me about the Art of Lombardy class, though — that it’s tiny, taught solo in Italiano and moves at pace too fast for an Intermediate student. Audit it, go to it, see how you feel… but don’t be surprised if you drown, they said. So it wasn’t much motivation to get out of bed at 8 this morning to try it out.
I woke up 20 minutes before the class, and spent the next 15 minutes standing in my hallway, in my pajamas, arms crossed, contemplating reasons not to go. I’d be late. On the first day. My Italian is terrible. All the advanced kids will be there. They gave me a fair warning. I’m so freaking tired. Take it easy this semester. You don’t have to push yourself.
Then I realized two things:
(1) Yes, I DO have to push myself, and if I don’t, I’ll probably hate myself for not even trying, and
(2) Someone in a commercial or a Facebook status once told me, THINK LESS, DO MORE.
I remembered my secret mantra for this semester:
10 minutes later, I walked in 10 minutes late. Mi dispiace, signora.
It’s been a long, long, long time since I felt that challenged, that disoriented, been in that much of a struggle to keep up… but it felt so good. Just thinking about where I’d be in a semester, where I’d be in a week, in my Italian, in my interest in Art History, in my knowledge of this country I’m taking up space in… Honestly, two hours have never flown by so quickly.
I felt really good after that. Good enough to finally buy something from the Tuesday morning farmer’s market near my apartment, and good enough to ask a vendor in Italiano what time the farmer’s market usually ends.
Fattest, sweetest peach I’ve ever eaten (mark my words — I’ll be buying fresh salume & formaggio by November).
I skipped home & buongiorno’d to the stained glass artist next to my apartment that I see everyday.
Milan’s starting to grown on me, man.
I visited John in Galway last weekend and it blew my freaking mind. The difference between the cultures, particularly the people, is enormous. We’re talking New York vs. (Insert charming Southern town). It was the International Oyster Festival, too, so 3923048 free, fresh oysters for every 390239482 pints of Guiness we had. The friendliest & most charming people I’ve met in Europe, and the best seafood I’ve had in my life (possibly tying with the Fish Market in Sydney, AU).
And Irish pubs are everything you dream them to be, and more.
I wrote 10-12 pages in my journal, mostly in tears, about how overwhelmingly happy I was to finally see Ireland. Tune in later for that, too.
Also, I have over 1,500 pictures to upload.
….. I don’t know, EITHER.
Ci vediamo dopo!